Web design and navigation
When people browse the Internet, eventually they come to a certain web page and start to navigate the website. A good navigation system is what’s needed for people to find their way around the website. It’s as important as clear marked signs on a new road for drivers. The desire to know where you are and where you’re heading is natural and common to all people. The same about your visitors. If you don’t manage to give them clear guidelines through the website, they will leave the site soon shortly after they’ve come to it.
There is absolutely no point in giving new names to the functional buttons. There are not that many users who feel up to guessing where to click in order to get to a certain web page. Navigation system should be clear and simple so that people don’t find it problematic to click through web pages.
There are three dominant types of navigation which are local, hierarchical and global. Global navigation is used by web designers to design medium-sized and small websites. This type of navigation system usually represents the main points of interest. Hierarchical navigation system is mostly used for large websites such as web directories and big portals. But this type of navigation can be somewhat confusing, especially for those who are new to the web.
The local type of navigation is absolutely great when cross traffic is needed. The embedded links is the way to guide your visitors through the website and lead them to information posted somewhere else on your site.
However, web designers usually mix all these three types of navigation systems to create their websites. The size of the site, its categories and their importance are the decisive factors which determine the navigational style that is going to be used. Generally, all the websites have got a navigation bar. The most common places for the navigation bar are the top and the left side of the screen. Placing the navigation bar on the right side can confuse visitors because they’re not familiar to this recent approach. But the worst practice would be to litter the site with multiple flash applications so that your visitors have to guess where the links are.
Taking into consideration all the foregoing, the main rule would be to keep the navigation system simple. Find the time to go through websites of big companies and corporations and you will clearly see that simplicity and elegance are the key elements of their web design and navigation.